Solar energy is one of the most mature technologies to produce electricity from renewable energy. This papers analyses the solar radiation potential in the city of Barranquilla (Colombia), located at 10°59'16" north and 74°47'20" west, for using Concentrated Solar Power technology (CSP) to generate electricity. Due to the lack of meteorological data in coastal areas of Colombia, Daily Integration Approach (DI) was used as the hourly radiation model. The DI model, along with radiation data from NASA-SSE (Surface meteorology and solar energy) were used to map the direct and beam radiation. The maps were plotted using the Matplotlib Basemap Toolkit in Python 2.7. The solar maps showed the high potential of solar radiation for CSP at the north coast of Colombia. Then, System Advisor Model (SAM) was used to perform a yearly simulation, in the city of Barranquilla, of a parabolic trough solar power plant of 50 MWe. The model included thermal energy storage (TES) with natural gas as backup and a sensitivity analysis was performed to find the optimum size which minimizes the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE). The results showed that for typical solar field cost, the minimum LCOE is around 25 cents/kWh which is still pretty high as compared with traditional systems but it has a positive impact on carbon footprint, using natural gas this value is reduced to 9.76 cents/kWh.
Guzman, L., Henao, A., & Vasqueza, R. (2014). Simulation and optimization of a parabolic trough solar power plant in the city of Barranquilla by using system advisor model (SAM). In Energy Procedia (Vol. 57, pp. 497–506). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2014.10.203